Are You Eligible for Short Term Disability (STD) Coverage?
Read this tip to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Short Term Disability and other Disability Insurance topics.
Who Is Typically Eligible for Short Term Disability (STD) Coverage?
Eligibility for short term disability insurance coverage is typically based on a few factors. Here is a brief summary of common eligibility requirements.
Employer-sponsored group short term disability programs:
- Have you met the “service-wait” period? Most group STD contracts have a specified time period for which you've been employed by the policy owner (your company) before you're eligible for coverage. Typically this time period may be from 90 to 365 days of continued employment. These waiting periods are often included for two reasons. The employer and the insurance company do not want the expense of completing forms, issuing insurance certificates, etc. to a brand new employee who may or may not survive the normal probationary period of full time employment. Second, should you have undisclosed medical problems, neither your employer (who pays most or all premiums) nor the insurer want to face immediate covered claims that must be paid.
- Do you have pre-existing conditions that generate specific “exclusions” from coverage or prohibit any coverage at all? No insurance company wants to be responsible for benefit payments that result from negative medical conditions that existed prior to their issuance of coverage if this information is available prior to issuing protection.
Association-sponsored group short term disability protection:
- Have you completed the association membership waiting period? Similar to the employer-sponsored coverage service time provision, this requirement typically applies to professional associations you might join. Like your employer, associations and insurers want to avoid anyone joining the group simply for short term disability insurance protection the new member believes may be necessary in a short period of time because of their personal medical history.
Individual short term disability coverage:
- Do you meet the underwriting standards of the company from which you desire insurance coverage? Is your medical history acceptable to allow insurance coverage to be issued? Beyond medical issues, your occupation, profession, and employment history may also be considered.
Become knowledgeable of the eligibility requirements for any short term disability insurance coverage you can access or purchase to protect your future earnings.
Refer to your insurance policy contract for specific information regarding your coverage and for actual terms, conditions and exclusions. The above statements are general in nature and may or may not reflect the actual terms of your insurance policy.